Swimming doesn’t fit in the category of ‘extracurricular’ activities. It is a core life skill everyone must learn.
Each year parents consider holding off swimming lessons during the cooler months and resuming in summer. However, the facts are that water safety is not seasonal. Accidental injury in and around the water can occur at any time. Aquatic accidents are not exclusive to the summer months.
Whilst water safety is our focus, children need to be able to swim in deep water. If you can’t swim in deep water, you can’t swim. That’s why we offer free swim safety checks to ensure that every child is placed in the right class to suit their current abilities.
Benefits of swimming during winter
If you are considering enrolling in winter swimming classes, here are the top benefits you should consider:
Physical and cognitive benefits of swimming in winter
- Continuity means your child has the greatest chance of reaching their full potential. Skills can be retained and extended where there is continuation without stopping and starting their learning pathway.
- Research shows the left/right brain action required for swimming enhances coordination, numeracy and literacy skills.
- Just a quick note on child development. Children up to the age of 8 years old will not retain their skills from season to season unless practice or revision of the skills are introduced at a six-monthly period. So, if your child was learning to breathe during March and then don’t swim until October, they will need revision lessons to bring them back up to speed. Swimming in winter will give them a head start for the summer so they can continue along the learning trajectory.
- Self-regulation of emotions and self-starting are all part of the developmental journey. Aligning these personal skills whilst participating in an all-year-round activity, can give your child the security to develop these skills in a familiar environment throughout the year.
Health benefits of swimming during winter
- Research has shown that when we enjoy ourselves the body produces the best boost to the immune system with the power of endorphins. (Laughter is the best medicine after all.)
- Remember colds and flu are viruses that can be passed from person to person. They cannot be created by being in water or swimming. You don’t put yourself at risk of getting sick simply by being in the water, it is actually proven that being in cold water can help boost your white blood cell count to boost your body’s defences.
- Cool outside? Jumping in a warm pool and having a hot shower after you get out is a great way to keep warm during winter.
- Swimming is a low impact physical activity in a warm environment. This means the oxygen intake in the body is maintained, strengthening nearly all the muscles in the body and relieves pressure on joints, whilst increasing fitness.
- Swimming keeps the lungs working and allows comfortable breathing in a warm environment. Simply being in water the hydrostatic pressure on the body increases blood flow even if you are not moving.
Social benefits of winter swimming
- Regularly meeting other children of similar age and level of skill has many key benefits for children. From learning to interact with peers, to taking turns and developing engaging language, swimming lessons are a great hub for socialisation.
Other benefits of winter swimming
- If you don’t like the crowds in summer during swimming lessons, winter swimming is a great time to learn. If a break is necessary, do it during summer when there is more opportunity to swim at a variety of locations.
- Swimming is ALWAYS on when it is raining. Tennis, footy, soccer, or netball can all be cancelled when the weather is inclement. We are here all year round.
Safety Tips for Swimming During Winter
While swimming in winter has many benefits, it is important that you take note of some safety tips so you can get the most out of your lessons.
Wear proper attire
While our learn to swim pools are heated, getting to and from the pool are prime times where you need to wear the proper attire. Remember to dry your hair before you leave the building, wear a beanie and shoes on your feet to ensure you are warm and cosy all the way home. If your child is uncomfortable, you will hear about it!
Warm up and cool down
You should always make time to warm up before your swim and take time to cool off. Stretching is a great way to prepare for your swim and reduces the chances of straining your muscles. This is particularly important in winter when your body might be a little less flexible thanks to the cold.
Even in the colder months, it is highly important to drink the recommended amount of water. If you or your child are in the warm pool and swimming, you will need to replenish your fluids, even if you don’t feel like it. As a rule it is recommended for adults to drink 2- 2.5L of water per day and for children over one, around 1L.
Learning to swim is an essential safety skill and should be practised year-round. Swimming during winter is a great time to enjoy the social, health, physical, and other benefits that children learn. Join our free swimming lessons so your children can dive into a world of social, health, and physical well-being
To ensure that your child keeps safe while swimming during winter, always remember to:
- Wear correct attire when swimming and out of the pool
- Warm up and cool down properly before your swimming lesson
- Stay hydrated, even in the colder months
Remember that water safety isn’t seasonal, so it is important that your children know the risks surrounding pools, beaches, lakes and more. You can book your child’s first learn to swim lesson today to ensure your child is safer around the water.
While our primary focus has been on children’s swimming lessons, we also recognize the importance of water safety for adults. Our commitment extends beyond just teaching the younger generation, as we offer tailored adult swimming lessons.